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Port: Democrats get behind US Senate candidate after cultural appropriation debacle – InForum

Minot, ND — I’ll tell you folks, democracy is never boring.

Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, something else happens.

I didn’t expect the Democratic-NPL’s US Senate endorsement to be all that exciting. Katrina Christiansen announced her candidacy some time ago. When I arrived at the convention, I learned that a man named Andrew Alexis Varvel was campaigning for the job as well .

When Varvel took the stage at the convention, after Merrill Piepkorn, a state Senator from Fargo, introduced him, and he didn’t make a good impression. He began and finished his remarks to delegates with words in a language he said was a mixture of Mandan and Lakota.

Immediately after he concluded his comments, he was called on the carpet by a group of Native American delegates.

Two Native American delegates to the North Dakota Democratic-NPL 2022 state convention confront US Senate candidate Andrew Alexis Varvel.

Photo by Kyle Martin

“My heart is beating so fast,” one visibly agitated delegate said. Varvel was asked what his tribal affiliation was, and he admitted that he had none.

He was then asked if he understood what cultural appropriation was.

It was a tense room, let me tell you. Varvel left the stage after cutting off one of the delegates addressing him from the floor. “I guess I don’t get to finish,” she said, before another woman standing with her said “we are not a conquered people,” referencing something Varvel had said during his remarks.

Needless to say, Mr. Varvel did not receive the endorsement.

Christiansen gave a serviceable speech and won in a landslide. She received very single vote from the remote delegates with just a few in-person dissenters despite Will Thompson, a legislative candidate last cycle who is currently campaigning for the Fargo City Commission, giving a long -winded and ultimately tearful speech supporting her that, before it was over, had delegates in the back groaning for it to be over.

Christiansen, whose friends call her “Hurricane,” promised to make incumbent Sen. John Hoeven hear her “footsteps” (apparently she doesn’t think Rick Becker is going to win the NDGOP primary either).

I believe Christiansen will run a spirited campaign filled with all the usual bromides about an incumbent who is an “empty suit” and has “lost touch with voters” that will earn her about a third of the vote in November.

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